[section_title title=AverMedia Live Gamer HD Review – Introduction]
The AverMedia Live Gamer HD is different from other HD capture cards on the market for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it has a built in H264 hardware encoder. Second, it comes with all necessary software to stream your gameplay to TwitchTV. Third, it is a PCI-Express add in card for a desktop computer, not a USB/Thunderbolt solution. When looking at PCI-Express add-in cards for capturing or streaming your gameplay your options narrow down to the BlackMagic Intensity Pro, Hauppauge Colossus, and now the AverMedia Live Gamer HD. The Colossus is great for capturing gameplay, but has many seconds of lag making it inappropriate for streaming. The BlackMagic Intensity Pro is what I’ve been using the past few months and it works well for streaming, but is limited for capturing gameplay as it requires enormous amounts of hard drive space for its uncompressed capture. When streaming PC games the Intensity Pro is of no help to the encoding process as it does not have a hardware encoder, thereby using your already burdened CPU to do the encoding.
From reading the box, the AverMedia Live Gamer HD looks to be the middle ground – good for streaming, better performance when PC gaming, smaller file sizes with good quality when capturing. For people with slower computers that can barely handle streaming, this may be the ideal card for them. I put the card to the test and see if it lives up to the hype. NOTE – the Youtube clip is a summary, so read on through the full review for the full benchmarks